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Thread: Pace: Will of American People is Enemy’s ‘Center of Gravity’

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Pace: Will of American People is Enemy’s ‘Center of Gravity’

    24 October American Forces Press Service - Pace: Will of American People is Enemy’s ‘Center of Gravity’ by Jim Garamone. Reposted here in full per DoD guidelines.

    The American people will make the right decisions in Iraq if they understand what’s at stake in the war on terror, the top U.S. military general said here today.
    “Baghdad is the center of gravity in Iraq, and the American people are the center of gravity for our enemies,” Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a Pentagon news conference.

    In military terms, an opponent's “center of gravity” is what prevents a force from accomplishing its objectives. For the United States, Baghdad is the most important city in Iraq and one that other sections in Iraq will follow. It is the center of gravity for the fight against terrorism in the country, he said.

    The will of the American people to carry on the war on terror prevents the enemy from meeting its objective; it is the enemy’s center of gravity, Pace said.

    He said Americans may be getting an overly pessimistic view of the war in Iraq. “If you go back to the beginning of this war, you remember we had 24-7 coverage of the war,” he said. “Any citizen who wanted to could avail themselves of as much information as they wanted to and come to their own decision about what we were doing right and what we were doing wrong.”

    But as time went on, other stories crowded out this 24-7 coverage. News is a business, Pace said, and time, column inches and Internet space went to other stories. “So the time that's allocated ends up being allocated to the things that go ‘bang’ -- not the schools that are being built, not the girls that are going to go to school, not the highways that are being built, not the crops that are being grown, not the agreements that are being made politically, but the bombs that have been going off is what's being shown,” he said.

    Pace said he believes that as a military leader, it is his responsibility to answer questions “so the American people can listen to my answers and answers from others and questions from others, from both sides of the problem, so they can make their own judgment.”

    If leaders make that information available to the American people, they will find the right center of balance and make the right decision, he said.

    Pace said he has confidence that America will choose wisely.

  2. #2
    Council Member
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    Oct 2005
    Washington, Texas

    Default Pushing back in the media battle space

    From PrairiePundit:

    Most of the time the media does not want to correct the factual errors it makes in describing the war, whether it is in Iraq or Afghanistan or the war on terror in general. Now DefenseLINK has a page devoted to corrections and letters to the editor that the media would not run. In effect it is like a DOD media blog. It is well worth checking out. This post was drawn from the site.

    This story about interviews with Secretary Rumsfeld shows an awareness of the media battle space and that the “center of gravity” in the Iraq war is in America with the American people.

    So what is the name of the person who is in charge of prevailing in this battle space?

  3. #3
    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Sep 2006
    Belly of the beast


    After Rumsfields press conference yesterday it should be interesting to see what happens next.

  4. #4
    Council Member 979797's Avatar
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    Jul 2006
    Richmond VA


    If it wasn't so sad, our lack of understanding when it comes to the media and IO would be hilarious... something akin to the Keystone Cops. Perhaps it's the senior military's mindset of, "gee, we really don't know what this is... let's find something for Colonel ####bird to take care of... hell, give him this media thing." While all the cream of our officer corps want commands and operational staff slots, they treat this line of work like the plague and hand it off to less capable individuals.

    The military as an organization needs to lift this to the top, guarantee wonderful career opportunities for those who handle it well, and then select the very best officers to take the reins.

    Our media-savvy enemies in Hanoi kicked our asses in this spectrum. You'd have thought the Pentagon would have learned something from that. Guess not.

  5. #5
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Oct 2005


    There was a time when Intel was treated the same way. "It ain't fast track, so put the doofus in the S-2 slot."

    Under the current promotion system I don't think you'll ever really see the ops bias go away.


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